I’m Using a Windows Phone for 1 Month- My Initial Review #SummerSwitch

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My good friend Chris from Canadian Dad recently nominated me to participate in Microsoft Canada‘s #SummerSwitch, a challenge to switch to the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows phone for 30 days. This would mean giving up my beloved iPhone and learning new technology, I love a challenge and can never say no to Chris so I took a deep breath and picked up the device to see what it was like.

Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone

The fine folks at Microsoft Canada sent me a Nokia Lumina 920 Windows phone in exchange for my participation and sharing my honest opinions.

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The phone comes with the usual headphones, charger, data cable and easy to understand instructions. For this challenge the phone is activated on the Rogers network who is the exclusive provider of this phone.

The phone is larger than my iPhone 4, it has a 4.5’’ PureMotion HD+ display capable of 1280 x 768 pixels. I’m not a techy so if you’d like more technical info you can find it on the Rogers website HERE.

The phone is noticeably heavier than my iPhone. There are rounded sides which assist with gripping but it’s a stretch to use the buttons on the sides or type on the screen with one hand as I have smaller hands. This will take some getting used to and honestly not certain I’ll ever be able to type with one hand using this phone.

I sat down immediately to set up all of my social media networks. I use my phone all day long for this, when you see me Tweeting, on Instagram or Facebook it’s all usually from my phone so these interactions are a must for me.

Windows Phone Features

Main Screen

To unlock the phone you swipe your finger upwards over the screen and you’re greeted with the live Tiles home screen. You can easily customize this screen to have all of your most used apps available immediately. These tiles can be set to display updates, latest tweets etc. They can be moved, removed and resized by holding down on them. Another new feature is the new, smallest size of live tile, allowing you to cram more on the screen.

Battery Life

Before I get into apps, let’s talk about the basics which have been issues in the past with other phones. The battery life on this Nokia Lumia 920 is good, I have yet to have it die on me during an 8 hour period.  Here are the power management specs which I’ve found it lives up to:

  • Maximum standby time (2G): 320.0 Hour(s)
  • Maximum talk time (2G): 7.5 h
  • Maximum talk time (3G): 9.0 h
  • Maximum standby time (3G): 320.0 Hour(s)
  • Maximum music playback time: 52.0 Hour(s)
  • Maximum video playback time: 5.0 hours
  • Wireless charging: Yes

Sky Drive

This phone is equipped with the ability to store all of my photos, music and files in one location called Sky Drive. I can easily access them all in one simple location, love this feature.

Camera

If there is one thing I could change about my iPhone it would be to replace the camera with this one from this Windows Phone. The Nokia Lumia 920 has with an 8MP, Carl Zeiss lens on the back of the handset and a front facing 1.6MP camera.

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It has the touch to capture feature, which makes the whole viewfinder a shutter button. Simply get your image on the screen and wherever you tap the camera will focus and snap.

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There are three dots in the bottom corner which appear as you’re using the camera function. When you touch them a menu area expands to show you have more options: photo settings and video settings, along with the four icons – lenses, flash, front-facing and video.

There are also 4 Lenses which you can choose from; Bing Vision, Panorama, Cinemagraph and Smart Shoot. Bing Vision essentially scans a barcode, DVD cover etc and searches for it on the web. Cinemagraph allows you to create hokey GIF images which I don’t know if I’ll ever use. Panorama allows you to take sweeping photos like this one I shot in my backyard. It is important that it be a scene with bright lighting or the location marker seems to lose it’s spot.

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As you can tell by this photo the camera doesn’t product a super-sharp image and is overly bright in my opinion. I can change the settings, by setting the exposure to -1/3 I’ve noticed an improvement.

I’m still figuring out the camera to be honest, I do find it has fantastic stabilization and I like the ability to use the touch screen focus but am not yet convinced. I’ve read rave reviews about it’s low light abilities but when I’ve used it there seems to be an issue with any light source being overly bright. Here is an example where the light source in a dimly lit room overtook the shot.

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When I zoom in for a shot in low light the same thing happens, here is one from my daughter’s theatre production:

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As I zoomed out the image lighting improved, but it’s still overly bright.

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Perhaps over time I’ll become more adapt at using the camera settings properly for the shot, but right now I’m finding it difficult to use.

APPS

First impressions aren’t great. Hate to say that but it’s true. I rely heavily on social media apps and one of my main apps is missing. Instagram isn’t available for this phone, I NEED Instagram…enough said. The Twitter app is decent, comparable to any other I’ve used on a handheld.

Facebook isn’t quite up to snuff. The main reason is that I cannot sort my pages. This is a pain for me, I have to sort through all of the pages I’ve liked rather than seeing a list of the pages I manage. Once I get into my page I cannot update a status as my page, instead it updates my personal profile. I’m hoping this is simply my mistake but as of today I have not been able to find an answer.

Final Thoughts

Right now I still rely upon my iPhone for Facebook and Instagram. This means that most of the images I’m taking are with my iPhone. Hopefully over the next few weeks I’ll become more comfortable but as of now the transition isn’t complete.

Twitter Party

Join us on Twitter on Tuesday, June 25th for the 2nd @MicrosoftCanada Twitter Party! Grand Prizes: two Nokia Lumia 920 Windows 8 Phones {ARV $599} and one XBOX 360 50GB Kinect Bundle Gaming System {ARV $349}.

#SummerSwitch Twitter Party Details:
When: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Time: 8 to 9pm {EST}
Follow the Hashtag: #SummerSwitch

Make sure to head over and RSVP before the party begins!

Disclosure: I am a part of the #SummerSwitch program and was provided a phone free of charge to share my opinions. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.

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